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Pulmonary Program

Janice H. Brown Pulmonary Rehabilitation

People affected by chronic pulmonary disease know how hard it can be to perform their everyday activities.  Just climbing the stairs, making the bed, working in the yard, or participating in family activities can leave you struggling to breathe and feeling helpless.  If this sounds like you or someone you know, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Janice H. Brown Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program may be able to help.

Helping Patients with Lung Conditions

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is designed to improve the quality of life for patients suffering with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or other debilitating lung diseases.  Services are designed to help with:

  • Self-management of lung disease
  • Improvement of strength and endurance
  • Building self-confidence
  • Developing knowledge 


Janice H. Brown Pulmonary Rehabilitation is located in the new and beautifully-designed NHRMC Heart Center - Outpatient Services building on 1415 Physicians Drive in Wilmington, NC.  Opened in June 2014, the building features a rehabilitation area on the third floor with a large gym and walking track for exercise.  Monitoring is done by experienced therapists and clinicians who offer support and counseling throughout the program.

Pulmonary Program Structure

The Pulmonary Program offers multiple sessions a day, five days a week. Participants usually come for a minimum of one hour, two to three days a week for up to ten weeks.  Patients may continue in the program on a self-pay basis in order to maintain their health.


  • Lung anatomy and lung disease
  • Breathing retraining and Inspiratory Muscle Training
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Medications
  • Activities of daily living
  • Signs and symptoms of infection
  • Stress management
  • Panic control
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nutrition
  • Travel with oxygen 

Supervised Exercise

An individualized exercise prescription is written for each participant following exercise testing, which may include pulmonary function testing, cardiopulmonary exercise testing or a six-minute walk. The exercise prescription provides guidelines including target heart rate, MET levels and intensity of exercise on specified equipment. Our goal is for each patient to complete 50 minutes of aerobic exercise along with strength training. Each individual prescription is increased as tolerated by the patient.

Psychosocial Support

The capacity of patients to successfully adapt to the enormous challenges associated with chronic lung disease is a major determinant of their quality of life. We offer classes on anxiety, depression and stress. Participants also meet with a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. Group interaction and support is also very beneficial in helping patients accept and adjust to lung disease. If additional counseling is needed, the patient will be referred.

Medication Management

Primary emphasis is placed on respiratory drugs and their proper use, including oxygen. However, it is equally important for patients to understand the proper use of all their medications. Our registered nurse meets with each patient to review all medications. A major outcome measure of patient responsibility in self-care is adhering to their medication regime.

Nutritional Counseling

Forty to sixty percent of patients with COPD have problems maintaining proper nutrition. Many are underweight due to the increased caloric needs caused by difficult breathing, while others are overweight due to steroids and sedentary lifestyle. A nutrition class is offered to participants. Those needing further evaluation and counseling are seen by the nutritionist or referred to other resources.

Positive Attitude to Succeed

Many patients referred to our services arrive depressed, angry and anxious. The stress of every day life with lung disease has left them feeling hopeless. It is very humbling to watch their courage to confront so many challenges for daily life. Providing them with knowledge, exercise to strengthen, and support by both staff and other patients provides the participant with the tools to manage their disease and have a positive attitude for success.

How to Participate

NHRMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is open to outpatients by physician referral.  Prior to starting the program, the patient has an initial assessment including a medical history, physical examination, laboratory testing, and pulmonary function studies.  Each person will also need to have a cardiopulmonary exercise stress test performed with a pulmonologist in attendance.  Tests done within the past six months may not need to be repeated. 

For more information, call 910.343.2543.

About Janice H. Brown

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at NHRMC is named for Janice H. Brown, a strong advocate for patients with pulmonary illness.  Through her personal experience as a patient she recognized the needs of others and gave generously to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation to help build the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.


Related Pages
Rehabilitation Hospital
Document Library
What is Asthma?
What is COPD?
2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401  |  910.343.7000